Cranberry Micheladas

I love cocktails!  In a lot of ways cocktail recipes are more fun to prepare than food because they generally don’t require as much effort, yet the flavor combinations are virtually endless.  They are always pretty, perfectly refreshing, and they make any day feel like a celebration.

My love of cocktails is apparent if you take a peek at my Pinterest account.  I think I have about 250 cocktails pinned there.  They just inspire me to create (and I’m certain not all of that’s the buzz)!  I do have to say though, that I get a leeeetle bit tired of cosmos, martini’s, and daiquiris.  Snoooooze.   I love a good apple martini as well as anyone…been known to put a few of those back in my day, but sometimes you just feel like something different, something outta the ordinary, something to excite your taste buds.

Meet the Michelada!

A traditional Michelada is a Mexican beer that’s been mixed with tomato juice, limes, and chili peppers.  Think of it as a Bloody Mary made with beer instead of vodka.  My mouth is watering!

Here is a picture of a traditional Michelada from Mexico:

*Photo credit

The drink typically comes with a rim that’s frosted in salt and chili powder and is topped off with a lime wedge.  I just can’t think of anything better!

Well…actually I can!  My Cranberry Michelada.


I replaced the tomato juice with refreshing, tangy cranberry juice cocktail.  The cranberry really goes well with the beer.

What’s really special about this drink is that instead of frosting the glasses with chili powder which would not work at all with my version, I made a simple syrup infused with jalapeños to give this cocktail it’s kick.

Simple syrup is an absolute essential for cocktail making.  It’s one part water, and one part sugar that’s brought to a simmer on the stovetop, just until the sugar dissolves.  It can be flavored with nearly anything, by allowing the chosen ingredient to steep in the syrup for a few minutes as it cools.  Some of my favorites to use for flavor infused simple syrup are citrus or herbs.  Simple syrups take minutes to make and you can make them in large batches and refrigerate for a couple of weeks.

This is a great cocktail for a party because you can make the syrup ahead and pour these dozens at a time.  You could even mix everything in a pitcher and just wait to add the beer right before serving.  That way you don’t lose any effervescence while it sits.

Oh, just one more thing before I give you the recipe…to make this an authentic Michelada I would suggest using a Mexican beer such as Corona or Dos Equis.  However, if you need something a little more mellow, a good Hefeweisen or other pale ale does the trick here.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe.  Happy mixing!

Cranberry Micheladas


  • 12 Ounces Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail
  • 2 12 ounce Bottles light Mexican Beer
  • ½ Cup Water
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 4 fresh limes
  • 1/8 Cup coarse sea salt
  • 4 chilled Collins glasses


  1. Begin by making the jalapeno simple syrup. Simmer the water in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Slice the jalapeno in half lengthwise and submerge it into the water. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jalapeno steep in the water for ten minutes. Discard the jalapeno. Run the mixture through a mesh strainer into a clean jar. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Slice three of the limes in half. Take one of the halves and run it gently along the rims of each of the chilled glasses. Pour the salt onto a small plate and dip the rims of the glasses into the salt to frost.
  3. Pour 2 ounces of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail into each glass. Squeeze ½ of a lime into each glass. Add 1 Tablespoon of the jalapeno simple syrup. Top each drink with six ounces of beer. This is added last so the effervescence lasts until the drink is served.
  4. Finally, slice the last lime into six wedges and use them to garnish the glasses.



  1. This sounds so much better than the original!

    • I’m glad you think so Ginny. I love the regular ones, but I think mine did turn out better. So refreshing!

  2. Looks so good!

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